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forest. Sir, it is impossible to tell the precise manner of their expulsion and destruction; but expelled and destroyed they would be, whilst true religion and humanity would long weep over their unhappy destiny. Sir, they are comparatively happy now; let them alone. They are fed well, they are clothed well, they are housed well; they do not labor moře or harder than the poor of our own color, whose necessities require that they should labor for their subsistence. Let them alone. They are ours by purchase. You of the North (some of you) first kidnapped them, and then brought and sold them to us. Were we to liberate them to-morrow, you would not receive them. You would treat them with a thousand-fold more barbarity than ever they were treated by us. Then let them alone; your benevolence, false and often hypocritical as it is, would but kill and destroy them. Then let them alone. God in his love, and Religion in her holiness, will do more and better for them than you ever can or will do. But I forget (said Mr. B.) that I speak to a bigotry that has no heart, and to a fanaticism that has no ears.
I turn, therefore, from them to the men and patriots who belong to these Halls—the successors of those illustrious men who reared this temple, and consecrated it forever to Union and the Constitution. If thy people shall lift up their eyes to this temple, and pray thee for what it is lawful to grant them under that Constitution, hear thou and answer them. But if they ask thee for what will rend that Constitution, and sunder forever that bright and glorious Union, be thou as deaf and insensible as the marble pillars which surround you.
On the Right of the Members elected by general ticket to their
Seats ; delivered in the House of Representatives, February 9, 1844,
The Report of the Committee on Elections, relative to the right of certain
Members to their seats in the House of Representatives, being under consideration :
Mr. A. V. BROWN addressed the House as follows
MR. SPEAKER: There is now lying on your table a bill which I had the honor to introduce at an early period of the session, proposing a repeal of that section of the apportionment act which is the exciting topic of this debate. Whilst the report of the committee maintains that section to be void and of no effect, that bill declares that it shall be stricken at once from your statute-book. The subjects are identical, the arguments on them nearly the same; and, at the close of this debate, I shall move the bill on its passage, that both subjects (as nearly as possible,) may be disposed of at the same time. Having introduced that bill, and being also a member of the committee by which this report was made, I stand in such responsible connection with both, that I trust I shall be excused by the House for participating in this debate.
This, however, I would not think of doing, did I entertain the opinions which have just been expressed by the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. STEPHENS.] if I were deeply and thoroughly convinced, as he says he is, that I was not duly and constitutionally elected to this House, I would neither speak in it, nor act in it. I would leave it at once, whatever the opinion of others might be. So I would do in every other similar case. Were I unlawfully appointed the Judge of a court, or if the court had been unconstitutionally created, I would neither clothe myself with its ermine, nor sit on its woolsack.
The second section of the apportionment act provides,“ that where a State is entitled to more than one Repesentative, the number to which each State shall be entitled, under this apportionment, shall be elected by districts composed of contiguous territory, equal in number to the number of Representatives to which said State shall be entitled-no one district electing more than one Representative.” The introduction of that section into the apportionment bill was too singular to have escaped observation. The gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. STEPHENS,] had adverted to the fact, and was pleased to ascribe to it a Democratic origin. I think I shall be able to satisfy the gentleman that he has looked into the history of its introduction into that bill with a too careless eye. [Here Mr. SrePHENS (Mr. B. yielding the floor) inquired if the gentleman denied the fact he had stated, that this portion of the bill had been introduced by the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. CAMPBELL.]
Mr. B. replied that he did not deny the correctness of that assertion; but he did not doubt but the gentleman understood the fact really to be as he had represented it.
[Mr. CAMPBELL ( Mr. B. further yielding for explanation) observed that the gentleman no doubt had a correct recollection of the origin of the second section of this act. It had been in this way: A resolution had been introduced by him (Mr. C.) instructing the Committee of Elections, to inquire into the expediency of regulating the subject of Congressional elections in such a way, by law, as that they should be by uniform districts throughout the United States. Sometime afterwards the Committee of Elections, in conformity with these instructions, reported a clause, from which had originated this second section ; which clause had been amended on his motion, and assumed the shape which it now occupied in the law. So, Mr. C. had originated the proposition in the first instance, and in the second instance, by his motion, it had assumed the form in thich it now appeared as the second section of the act.]
Mr. Brown replied, that he did not mean to say that the gentleman was not the real, as he certainly was the putative father of the district proposition of that session ; but he must insist that the gentleman should content himself with the more humble relation of mere god-father to the thought of making
it a part and portion of the apportionment bill. That was the great matter about which he was complaining. The apportionment bill was one which was obliged to be passed in some form or other. Without it the Federal Government would run down and be at an end. The forcing of this section on such a bill as that he denied to have had a Democratic origin. He meant to demonstrate that, in the further progress of his remarks, to every man's satisfaction. The gentleman's own resolution contemplated no connection whatever with the apportionment bill—it expressly called for a separate and distinct bill by itself, to stand or fall by its own merits. Mr. Brown said he would now proceed on his observations.
More than fifty years of our political existence had rolled by, and no such legislation had ever been proposed. State after State had risen up and become members of this Confederacy, not one of which had ever failed cheerfully and promptly to furnish its proportion of our national representation. In peace and in war-in prosperity and in adversity-amidst the fiercest conflict of parties—all had done their duty; not one had failed or refused to regulate “ the time, place, and manner" of holding elections, as required by the Constitution. What, then, could have induced the Congress of 1842, with no derelictions on the part of the States, with no memorials from the seventeen or eighteen millions of the People of this country, to wage this wanton and unprovoked war on the constitutional rights and the ancient usages of the States ? It was the blind, infuriated spirit of party, vainly endeavoring to perpetuate a triumph which chance or fraud or folly had achieved. Those who were influenced by it had the sagacity to devise, and the heart to meditate, but not the hardihood to consummate the deed. They could declare that none should be admitted to membership here but those who had been elected by districts; but they dared not rouse the sleeping lion of public indignation, by laying off the districts themselves. To show you that I am not mi. *aken in the party character of this war, let me advert to the fact, that the idea of introdueing this second section into the röportionment law was engendered in the Committee of Elections—a committee eminently partisan in its head, and, indeed, in its whole structure. That Com
mittee had no charge of the apportionment bill; it had no jurisdiction over it. The preparation of that bill had been confided to a special committee of thirteen, who had reported it with no such clause in it. It was, therefore, gross usurpation in that committee to attempt to supersede the special one, by reporting amendments to it; and nothing but the inveteracy of party would have sustained its arrogant pretensions. On the 26th of April, whilst the apportionment bill, as reported by the special committee, was under discussion in committee of ths whole, Mr. Halsted, of New Jersey, as he said (for he made no report, and could have made none in Committee of the Whole) by order of the Committee of Elections, proposed the second section. The gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. CAMPBELL] offered an amendment to Mr. Halsted's, changing its phraseology, but not its meaning, which was accepted by Mr. Halsted, and adopted by him in lieu of his own. The whole Democratic party contended against the amendment at every stage of its progress; not because they were opposed to the districting plan, but because they were unwilling to see it enforced on the States by the strong arm of Federal domination. They fought it on every inch of ground, and finally recorded a unanimous vote against it. [Here Mr. CAMPBELL reminded Mr. B. that he was certainly mistaken.] Mr. B. Unanimous, did I say? No, I am wrong in that; the gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. C.] did not vote with us, nor fight with us. Nay, he fought against us. He went over to the enemy; and they, delighted with the acquisition, instantly promoted him to the command, and he actually led on their proud imperious cohorts to the charge. I need not tell you the rult. Turn to your journals of the 3d of May, and you will find that the Democratic party was overcome by a vote of 101 to 99. The gentleman's vote, and that of his colleague, Mr. Sampson Butler, would have saved us from that mortification. It would have saved, too, twenty members of this House from the humiliation of having to stand, as they have stood, unbonneted and dishonored at the door of one of your distant committee rooms. This section was thus literally forced into the apportionment bill, in despite of all the exertions and resistance of the Democratic party. What, then, was to be done ? An apportionment